Article Archive

Cosmic Gate - Masterfully Moving Forward

Author: Rezo
Thursday, 6 December 2007
Trance might be considered a dirty word sometimes, but Cosmic Gate understands nothing else. It has been their livelihood for over a decade and despite everyone’s love-hate association with it, they see their mission as one to encapsulate the different sounds of electronic music, into a congruent whole. Stefan elaborates: “I think it’s like that with everything; trance has its ups and downs. It is going to come back, all that minimal and electro stuff which is hyper at the moment will go down and trance will come up again and be hip in a few years. We don’t care, we always have and always will play trance. Right now, we’ve been focusing on our back to back compilation and are looking forward to heading back to Australia for a 2 week tour shortly, with some club and festival dates.”
Certainly, the distinction between genres in electronic music continues to blur, while artists are incorporating sounds from different areas, to create new and unusual fusions in their compositions. Likewise, Cosmic Gate is equally guilty of that. Nic explains: “there are so many different sounds in music. We both love techno and trance and even house and electro. We also love to produce it. The reason trance forms the main part of all the productions we do, is because we like to keep our music progressive, with certain melodies and atmospheres.” Indeed, that well rounded formula has helped them create a long list of smash hits that most people would either know, or would have certainly danced to – these include The Drums, Mental Atmosphere and Raging.
Moreover, their new album Earth Mover is something that captures the club element, but also the ability for the group to experiment a little. “Yes, it’s true. We actually wanted to make some club tracks for DJs to play, but when you do an artist album you have more freedom to do what you want. You develop your production, your sound – it’s the whole element of the way we play as DJs and produce as producers. Whenever we listen to stuff that we did 2 or 3 years ago, we realise how hugely different it is from what we are doing now. So many ideas have been brought together since that time. Three hours of DJs playing 140bpm uplifting trance is boring. We want to have more of an up and a down. We play what we feel rather than what fits with the trance scene!”
Yet while their origins in music lay founded in slightly different areas – Nic had piano lessons since he was 10 and at 15 started playing around with mix tapes; Stefan got into music a little later and loved disco and Chicago house. Both found themselves spending considerable amounts of disposable on vinyl – and eventually they began experimenting with equipment. Years later, their production philosophy remains little changed. Stefan goes on: “if we had a set formula, we could be more commercial and make more money, put it that way; but we are not thinking about that. We want to create music with harmony, whether it is a synth or a bassline, next time we work on an album or track we think about what influences we want to incorporate. So whether it’s tribal or trance, each of our works is different. You could write a book on production and how to be successful, but it is the technical side with makes you different from the next person; we work to be different and it’s important not to get into a routine. We both like lots of different styles of music and try to mix it all up. We try to take influences and work with them. Of course after a tour or a long time traveling, we have newer influences that encourage us – and then it is these elements that might make it into our production.”
Of course, like many in the trance scene, they have been accused of changing their sound, heaven forbid. But this is in their nature. A change of direction is as good as a holiday and when you move a certain way, people follow. It is simply about how the artist feels and the energy they derive from the experiences around them. In fact, this era is merely the half way point between where they have been and where they are going. A new album is of course in the offing’s and the boys hope to start on that in the next few weeks. We have no idea about how it will flow; we just follow the ideas hoping we can still do 12 brand new tracks. Maybe some things will be more chilled out and we may even include some breaks ideas. It will still be song oriented and will still suit the clubs and the DJs.
And it seems their philosophy in club-land is similar. Their sets can vary considerably between country and event location. It can start off progressive and slow, or it can be throbbing and driving. It depends on the size and mood of the crowd; the time they have to play with – and even sometimes what side of the bed they woke up on. They always play back to back. They are equally excited about getting back to Australia. This time, we have a few performances planned and naturally we will play a variety of styles depending on the atmosphere. But we promise we will give our best!”